Banabadi Dance - The Gour caste Tribal Dance of Kalahandi #Odisha #TribalDance #India
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Banabadi Dance – The Gour caste Tribal Dance of Kalahandi #Odisha #TribalDance #India – Article by Saket 

What is Banabadi Dance :-         

          Banabadi is a traditional dance of Gour caste / Gouda (Jadav community) in Kalahandi district. It is performed with two players in a competitive manner and also played with a group of eight to ten. 32 sanghad or techniques are used in this dance form.  It is also known as Gaurbadi dance.

Banabadi Dance - The Gour caste Tribal Dance of Kalahandi #Odisha #TribalDance #India

How is Banabadi :-

The sticks used by the dancers are made up of log of kendu (tendu) wood. First the upper crust of the stick is removed and polished then a kind of grass cord (laha /latta) is wind up in a crafty manner with a definite gap on the sticks. Then it is lightly burnt by the straw of rice and the cords unwind. The burnt part turns into black colour while the rest remains white, making a lovely design on the sticks. The sticks look as if tattooed with black and white. Tattoo is locally known as Bana so the dance is called Banabadi Dance. A dancer uses two such sticks while dancing.

Instruments Used in banabadi dance :-Baensi, dhol, jhumka etc. are some instruments used by the dancers. The dancers make tattoo with rs ice pest (pithau) on their body.

When we will see Banabadi Dance :-This dance is seen after some days of Deepawali, during the festival of Kanha Bhairo, the presiding deity of Gour caste.

Few lines which sung during this dance are:


“Kanha bhai lachmi ghena mo dayini

Jayama jadavakula maudamani

Jaye chandi samalai maa thakurani

Sankata tarini maa durgati nasini

Bipade aapade maago heu agrani

Jaya maa jadavakula maudamani”


This dance form resembles to a duel. The two dancers hold the sticks in their two hands and attack and defense themselves from their counterpart.

And the song goes as follows:


“Dwapar jugare prabhu nandanandana

Gopa gopalanka sange mela hoina

Bajai range dhola tamaka bansuri

Shirare paga bandhi kendubadi dhari

Karuthile e tandaba dharma lekhani

Jaya maa jadavakula maudamani”  


History of Banabadi Dance:-The history of the caste is related with the dance. There is startling citation of Banabadi in Haribansa Puran. Banabadi song provides information regarding the 16 types of Gour caste which is referred in Haribansa Puran:



“Bhojpuri, Goppuri, Shoal khandia

Magadha, Gokul, Lahoria, Jharia

Nanda, Dravida, Jachaka, Duta, Koria

Ahir, Abada, Asak, Kosalia

Ae shoal jadavakula maa patarani

Jaya maa jadavakula maudamani” 


As per Mahabharata:-An instance of Banabadi is also cited in Birat Parba of Mahabharat. During the Agyantbasa period of Pandavas, Sahadev was the caretaker of the cattle of Virat king and while he was trying to dispose those cattle king Virat rescued with Banabadi. Apart from this, citations are also found in Chittabodha, Nrusingha Puran etc.

Where we will see this dance in Odisha:-This dance form is found in almost all parts of Kalahandi, whereas the affluent areas are Koksara, Junagarh, Dharmagarh, Madanpur Rampur, Bhawanipatna and Jaipatna.